Winter Has Begun Now

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My feet crunched as I walked today, the first sign that the frost had settled. It reminded me of the sound of your footsteps; those boots you’d wear that clacked against each and every stone, so loud and obnoxious that you’d have to pretend not to notice the heads that rose as you passed by. You’d slip in those heels if you wore them now, I’d offer to lend you mine – those fur-lined Timberlands you always said you liked. The first frost of winter bites at my hands, seeping through the holes in my gloves left exposed. She is bitter and gentle, nibbling at my ears and the end of my nose. Winter has begun now, and everything that comes with it; the promise of warm fires and hot chocolates; the big coat from the back of my wardrobe and my three-year-old hat; an abundance of fluffy socks I wear to the library as the deadlines keep piling up. I hung my old fairy lights in my dorm room today, the ones you told me to bring from home and I thought of the last Christmas we’d shared, when we’d argued over how best to decorate the tree. I hadn’t realized what a burden it would be to hang the baubles in exactly the way I wanted. There’s a pile of Christmas cards in my bedside drawer, the same from a collection you bought me years ago. You always told me when to send them, but I can’t remember the date. The bells will chime December soon, the month of goodbyes – goodbye summer, goodbye year, goodbye you. The first fall of snow will bring laughter with it, the humour is already in the air – it’ll be there at the Christmas markets and in the stockings hung over the fireplaces and the Christmas service they hold in the Chapel. You would love the singing. They’re performing that one from Elf, the one that always makes you cry at the end. I want to fill my free time with those Christmas movies I’ve always loved, but you own all the classics – they’re on that shelf at home, collecting dust in the back of my room. I can clean it up when I get back, I can hang the tinsel around the bannister in the way that reminds you of the way your grandparents did it, and hang the wreath upon the door, so everyone knows that we know that the Holiday Season has begun. I’ll remember to pack those Timberlands, or maybe I’ll buy you a pair instead. I just hope I make it back before the final frost melts. 

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